Lori Ciccarelli is helping the world see the many sides of autism through the eyes of her son.
I'm a mom on a mission to support those living with autism and to help raise autism awareness.
I have a 20-year-old son, JJ, who has an autism spectrum disorder. Since intolerance has been the hardest part of our journey with his autism, we want to help educate society about the disorder. We also believe it is our responsibility to share our resources and experiences with autism and let people know what tools worked for us so that maybe those tools could help others.
To share our experiences, we produced the documentary film JJ's Journey, A Journey About Autism in 2008. I had no film experience. I had to learn film editing through a software tutorial, so it took me three years to complete this project.
The film is gaining international exposure through film festivals and my son and I making public presentations regionally to promote the film. It was nominated for the Autism Society of America Media Excellence Award 2009 and is being used in universities across the country as part of the teacher credential curriculum in addition to being shown to teachers at elementary and secondary schools as part of their in-services and trainings.
We believe we don't have to go to Third World countries to be missionaries, as we are missionaries for autism through our film and presentations. Our story is a story of hope, and we want to encourage other families of autism.
JJ is in his second year of college, earning his bachelor's degree in graphic design/illustration. The road has been full of struggles and challenges, but through perseverance, JJ has accomplished many wonderful things.
— Lori Ciccarelli
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